Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Montage by Linder Sterling

Montage by Linder Sterling. Image courtesy Paul Stolper Gallery

Linder Sterling is a visual artist, performance artist and musician from Manchester, England who also uses the single name "Linder". Born Linda Mulvey in Liverpool in 1954, she spent her adolescence and most of her adult life in Manchester. She studied art at Manchester Polytechnic 1974-1977. She now lives and works in Lancashire.

A radical feminist and a well-known figure of the Manchester punk and post-punk scene, Linder was known for her montages, which often combined images taken from pornographic magazines with images from women's fashion and domestic magazines, particularly those of domestic appliances, making a point about the cultural expectations of women and the treatment of female body as a commodity.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Photographs auction in Amsterdam (NL) on March 13, 2007 (Part 2): Jan Saudek

LOT 191, JAN SAUDEK, B. 1935, MODRÉ NEBE, 2,000—3,000 EUR

LOT 192, JAN SAUDEK, B. 1935, EVELYN FOREVER, 1,500—2,000 EUR

LOT 194, JAN SAUDEK, B. 1935, MILKY WAY, 2,000—3,000 EUR


LOT 213, JAN SAUDEK, B. 1935, BASHFUL ERIKA, 2,000—3,000 EUR

LOT 218, JAN SAUDEK, B. 1935, HELENA, 2,000—3,000 EUR

LOT 224, JAN SAUDEK, B. 1935, UNTITLED, 1,500—2,000 EUR

Jan Saudek (b. 13 May 1935, in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech art photographer. His best-known work is noted for its hand-tinted portrayal of painterly dream worlds, often inhabited by nude or semi-nude figures surrounded by bare plaster walls or painted backdrops, frequently re-using identical elements (for instance, a clouded sky or a view of Prague's Charles Bridge). (source)

Photographs auction in Amsterdam (NL) on March 13, 2007 (Part 1)

LOT 20, FRANTIšEK DRTIKOL, 1883-1961, NUDE, 2,500—4,000 EUR

LOT 29, JOSEF SUDEK, 1896-1976, LANDSCAPE; NUDES, 4,000—6,000 EUR

LOT 129, SANNE SANNES, 1937-1967, PORTRAIT NUDE, 2,000—3,000 EUR

LOT 130, GERARD FIERET, B. 1924, UNTITLED, 2,000—3,000 EUR

LOT 143, BILL BRANDT, 1904-1983, NUDE, 2,000—3,000 EUR

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Pin-up No.96 (Ariadne)" (2005) by Anton Henning

"Pin-up No.96 (Ariadne)" (2005) by Anton Henning, oil on canvas, 125.5 x 157 cm. Courtesy: Haunch of Venison. Copyright: Anton Henning, 2005

Anton Henning (German, born Berlin in 1964) is a painter whose diverse subjects and styles, from abstract to figurative, from pin-up girls to interiors are plundered knowingly from art history and popular culture. However, unlike Picabia to whom he has been compared, Henning’s diverse paintings are united by a delight in sensual pleasure, a passion for the tactile quality of paint, and a critical and subversive wit. [...] For example, in Pin-up No.96 (Ariadne), 2005 (pictured above) a sunbathing naked woman is overpainted on an abstract patterned background that can be read as a huge beach towel. However, Henning has given the work a black horizon, introducing an element of pure abstraction, and giving the total composition a sense of the surreal. This playful combination of disparate elements and styles helps to make seemingly familiar imagery strange and arresting.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Stromboli Pieta" (2006) by Marina Abramović

"Stromboli Pieta" (2006) by Marina Abramović, framed chromogenic print, 180 x 150 cm, edition of 7 plus 2 APs

Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the active volcanoes in Italy. Abramović has a house there. A pietà (Italian for compassion) is an artwork depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Christ.

"Stromboli is the last permanently active volcano in Europe," she said, leaning forward intently with her dark eyes flashing. "Every 20 minutes, it's shooting out lava. Every 20 minutes. Black sand. Black beach. Everything black. It's fantastic." (source)

Photo courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery.

Also see another post on Marina Abramović.

"Dreaming (Pillow Case)" by Orly Cogan

"Dreaming (Pillow Case)" by Orly Cogan

"Orly Cogan continues to dazzle and amuse with her playful and sometimes mildly sexy embroideries on vintage fabrics, but this time she branches out in subject matter. Cogan's basic practice is ingenious. She salvages old fabrics, such as tablecloths and dresser scarves decorated in the prim floral motifs of yesteryear, and then adds to these designs her own embroideries of contemporary figures that are usually nude and sometimes erotically charged." (source: The Chicago Sun-Times - pdf)


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Three works from the "Les Demoiselles" series by Cindy Workman

Large Woman 16, 2006, 59 7/8 x 45 7/8", digital print, plexiglass and frame
Large Woman 17, 2006, 60 7/8 x 45 7/8", digital print, plexiglass and frame

Three works from the "Les Demoiselles" series by Cindy Workman (1961, New York, USA). The exhibition at Lennon, Weinberg in Chelsea, NYC runs from January 25 – March 3, 2007. If you can, go see them, because the above reproductions can't convey the beauty of these works. They are large-format, shiny prints that almost offer the illusions of a collage with depth.

Cindy Workman breaks new ground in her current series of works devoted to images of women. The figures are large, frontal, and are formally and conceptually at the center of the compositions to a greater degree than the works seen in her prior exhibitions at Lennon, Weinberg.

Harvested from an immense number of images of women available via photographs, publications and online, Workman selects from the recent past. Drawings from the envelopes of sewing patterns provide idealized girls, demure in their frocks and bows, while soft-core nudes offer prominent breasts, come-hither poses and an occasional odd accoutrement like plastic panties. Adjusted in scale and digitally collaged, the source images yield conjoined figures of mixed dominance. Through a delicately calibrated range of opacity and transparency, the illustrated girls and photographed women vie for dominance in these figures. Despite the duality of their woman-child appearance, however, her women appear more fully as individuals than Workman’s earlier evocations of female archetypes. These portraits are powerful presences.

In the early 1990s and well before the scanner, computer and printer became her chosen tools, Workman used traditional collage and assemblage methods to examine socially assigned and culturally reinforced gender identities. Her series “The American Family” incorporated photographs of her own family with images of Popeye, Superman and their female counterparts in the comics in constructions of impeccable design and execution. In this and other works, she asks:

“What does it really mean to be a “mother” and how is that different from being a “wife” or “sister” or “daughter” or one cohesive “self” incorporating all of these fragmented identities? Because identity constantly changes and shifts depending on whom a person is interacting with and what role is being played, reality can never be fully realized in one instant and is constantly being reinvented.”

Freed from the constraints of physical assemblage, Workman was able to generate more complex, nuanced compositions in works that followed and to avail herself of a wider range of sources and references. For a time the work became more sexually explicit, about which she says, “I have been exploring the influence of sexual experience on identity and self-esteem. Individual reactions to and interpretations of sexual experience become inextricably linked to a person’s core identity.”

Workman’s compositions are inflected with the style and appearance of classic Pop-art era works and enriched with ideas associated with postmodern appropriation. Woven into her current works are multiple strands of inquiry about issues as diverse as age-appropriate appearance, plastic surgery, the questionable truthfulness of photography and technologies of printed reproduction. At a time when the internet provides virtual reality in online societies such as Second Life where participants create and furnish avatars with whatever identity they wish, Workman reflects upon the degree to which our freedom to construct an identity is shaped and restricted by social and historical boundaries.

"Made's Warung (With Text in Background)" (2006) by Ashley Bickerton

"Made's Warung (With Text in Background)" (2006) by Ashley Bickerton, Mixed media collage on wood, 42.1 x 60.1 in.

This work by Ashley Bickerton (British, born 1959) can now be seen at Sonnabend Gallery in NYC, USA.